Davos Seaworth

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Davos Seaworth
House Seaworth.svg
House Seaworth.svg
Davos Seaworth by Amok©
Davos Seaworth by Amok©

Alias(es) Davos Shorthand[1]
Onion Knight[1]
Davos the smuggler[1]
Davos of Flea Bottom[2]
Knight of the onion ship[2]
Ser Onions[3]
Onion smuggler[4]
Onion Lord[5]
Title(s) Ser
Lord of the Rainwood[6]
Admiral of the Narrow Sea[6]
Hand of the King[6]
Allegiance House Seaworth
House Baratheon of Dragonstone
Predecessor Alester Florent (Stannis's Hand)
Culture(s) Crownlands
Born In or before 260 AC[7], at King's Landing
Spouse(s) Lady Marya Seaworth
Issue Dale Seaworth
Allard Seaworth
Matthos Seaworth
Maric Seaworth
Devan Seaworth
Stannis Seaworth
Steffon Seaworth
Book(s) The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (POV)
A Storm of Swords (POV)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (POV)

Played by Liam Cunningham
TV series Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6 | Season 7 | Season 8

Ser Davos Seaworth, commonly called the Onion Knight, and sometimes Davos Shorthand,[1][8] is the head of House Seaworth. He was once a smuggler, but after Robert's Rebellion he became a landed knight and Stannis Baratheon's most honest and loyal supporter. Davos created his own house sigil, a black ship with an onion on the sails upon a grey field.[2] Davos becomes a POV character starting with A Clash of Kings. He is played by Liam Cunningham in the television adaptation Game of Thrones.

Davos captains Black Betha. He has seven sons, many of them serving on ships in Stannis's fleet. His wife Marya tends his lands on Cape Wrath.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Davos Seaworth

Davos is a slight man with brown eyes[1] and an ordinary face weathered by the elements.[9] His beard and thinning brown hair[10] are peppered with gray.[9] The first joints of the fingers of his left hand are missing. Davos carries the bones in a pouch around his neck.[1]

Instead of the expensive attire of the lords of the narrow sea, Davos wears a simple brown and green wool mantle,[1] or alternatively a blue tunic with old boots and brown breeches.[9] Davos owns a brown cloak[10] and a mantle of undyed wool fastened with a wooden clasp.[9] Leather gloves serve to hide his shortened fingers.[9] He rarely wears mail.[11]

Once a notorious smuggler,[1] Davos is looked down upon by most lords.[2] He is known for his unvarnished honesty.[1][11] Davos follows the Faith of the Seven, but he is not devout.[2] He does not speak High Valyrian.[2]


Davos is a man of low birth, born in the wretched Flea Bottom ward of King's Landing to a life of hardship. In his youth, he found service on the Cobblecat under Roro Uhoris, a Tyroshi smuggler and pirate. Eventually Uhoris was caught by the Night's Watch fleet from Eastwatch, where he was executed for trading weapons to wildlings. While impressed by this event, Davos did not refuse to trade with the members of the Night's Watch later.[12][13]

After his time aboard the Cobblecat, Davos made his own way and secured his own small ship, becoming one of the most infamous smugglers of the Seven Kingdoms.[1] He piloted his black-sailed ship into harbors in the dead of night, and navigated treacherous shallows.[12] As a smuggler, he visited the Three Sisters.[14] Davos is also known to have visited White Harbor often,[6] the last time was in around 294 AC.[9][N 1] Davos married a woman named Marya; together they had seven sons: Dale, Allard, Matthos, Maric, Devan, Stannis and Steffon.[8]

During Robert's Rebellion, almost a year into the siege of Storm's End, Davos evaded the Redwyne fleet's blockade of Shipbreaker Bay to smuggle onions and salted fish into the castle,[1] knowing the starving people would pay him the best price.[15] The food allowed Stannis Baratheon's men to hold on until Lord Eddard Stark arrived to break the siege. As a reward for his service, Stannis knighted Davos, giving him choice lands on Cape Wrath and allowing him to choose Seaworth as the name of his new house. However, as payment for his past crimes, Davos lost the first joint from each finger of his left hand. Davos found the ruling just, and agreed to the terms if Stannis would swing the blade himself.[1] Davos keeps the bones of his joints in a pouch around his neck because he believed they were lucky, having bought a future for his family.[11]

Davos now captains the Black Betha, a war galley, in service of Stannis Baratheon.[2] Davos was in King's Landing with Stannis Baratheon for the tourney on Prince Joffrey's name day.[2]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Ser Davos Seaworth - by Chris Dien ©

When Stannis Baratheon, Lord of Dragonstone, declares himself King of Westeros after the death of his brother Robert I, Davos supports his claim. Davos is sent as an envoy to the Lysene pirate Salladhor Saan, whose sellsail fleet he recruits to Stannis's cause. He then sails to the stormlands and treats with the lords of the stormlands, but is unsuccessful in his mission to gather support for Stannis.[1] At a feast Stannis holds for his bannermen, Davos is the only one willing to make eye-contact with Maester Cressen, whom Stannis had kept from the feast on purpose. Davos makes room on the bench for Cressen, and confides in him that he feels Stannis's plans are doomed to fail. He witnesses that Cressen puts poison in his wine, and attempts to subtly stop him when Cressen asks Melisandre to share the wine with him. Cressen dies after drinking the wine, Melisandre does not.[1]

Davos is not a devout man, but he nontheless dislikes Stannis's conversion to R'hllor under the guidance of the priestess Melisandre, and the burning of the wooden statues of the gods from the Faith of the Seven on Dragonstone. When his elder sons openly comment on the burning of the gods, Davos warns them to be cautious, and not to question their rightful king. Davos witnesses Stannis pulling Lightbringer from the fires, but thinks it looks like a proper mess. Salladhor Saan later informs Davos that the sword is not the true Lightbringer.[2]

Stannis has prepared a letter declaring the bastardy of Cersei Lannister's children, including King Joffrey I Baratheon, and Stannis's claim to the Iron Throne. As he believes most lords will likely burn the letters they receive, Stannis orders Davos to Gulltown, the Fingers, the Three Sisters, and White Harbor and deliver the letters to any man who can read. The illiterate Davos requests knights who can read the letters to the illiterate smallfolk. his sons Dale and Allard are sent south and east. When asked his opinion on the letter, Davos replies that the words are blunt and strong, but that Stannis still lacks proof. When Stannis states that Robert's acknowledged bastard son Edric Storm is proof, Davos reminds him that Edric is at Storm's End, out of their reach.[2] Davos also counsels Stannis not to force a foreign religion upon the people of Westeros, as it will not make them love him, but Stannis ignores it, claiming that he had never been loved in the first place.[2]

After finishing his mission, Davos joins Stannis at the siege of Storm's End. He is present among many of the other lords when Stannis parleys with the castellan, Ser Cortnay Penrose. When Cortnay refuses to surrender, Davos counsels Stannis to leave for King's Landing, but Stannis refuses to suffer a defeat at Storm's End. He orders Davos to smuggle Melisandre under Storm's End. Davos dislikes the priestess, and accuses her of having murdered Maester Cressen and Renly Baratheon. She states that Cressen killed himself, and although she denies killing Renly, she also states that Renly had been unprotected, but that the spells woven into the walls of Storm's End that no shadow can pass. Once underneath the castle, inside the walls, Davos witnesses Melisandre giving birth to a shadow assassin, which later kills Cortnay. Davos is horrified by the event.[11]

With Storm's End taken, Stannis is free to march on King's Landing. Davos and four of his seven sons are part of the Stannis's royal fleet that assaults King's Landing in the Battle of the Blackwater. Davos tries to persuade the fleet commander, Ser Imry Florent, to send in scouts to test whatever new defenses the Lannisters have prepared, but Imry refuses to listen, relying on their superior numbers. Davos notes other tactical errors, such as engaging Joffrey's royal fleet in the narrow Blackwater Rush, where their numbers are of little use. Once the advance squadrons enter the rush, a huge chain is raised to close it off and trap them.[13] Much of the fleet is destroyed by wildfire, including all three Seaworth ships. Davos's elder sons—Dale, Allard, Matthos, and Maric—die, and Davos ends up in the water.[16] In his attempt to escape the wildfire Davos dives deep into the water and tries to swim to freedom, but the Onion Knight eventually falls unconscious when he is unable to reach the surface for air.[16]

A Storm of Swords

Davos kneels before King Stannis - by Amok ©

Davos is stranded on the spears of the merling king for many days, where he hallucinates that the Seven talk to him,[16] until chance blows one of Salladhor Saan's ships towards him. Blaming Melisandre for the disaster, he plans to kill her. Her magic gives her warning, however, and he is arrested by Ser Axell Florent at Dragonstone.[17] Davos is visited by Melisandre, who informs him that Stannis is weak and making another shadow assassin would kill him. Davos blames her for the death of his sons, but Melisandre claims the battle would have turned out differently if she had been present. He tells Davos that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn, and that Davos has served the Lord of Light, and will do so again.[3] Davos is later joined in his cell by Lord Alester Florent, Stannis's Hand of the King, who has been arrested for treason.[3]

Davos is released from the dungeon, and as he is being escorted to Stannis, Axell instructs him to suggest to Stannis that Axell replace his brother Alester as Hand. Davos denounces Axell's plan to slaughter the smallfolk of Claw Isle in retribution for old Lord Ardrian Celtigar bending the knee to Joffrey; for his honest counsel Stannis names Davos as Lord of the Rainwood, Admiral of the Narrow Sea, and Hand of the King, as Alester is to be burned for treason.[18] Davos is present when Stannis burns three leeches filled with the blood of Edric Storm, while stating the names of the three kings he considers rebels: Balon Greyjoy, Robb Stark, and Joffrey Baratheon.[18]

Davos is present in council with Stannis, Axell, Queen Selyse Florent, and Melisandre when news arrives that Robb died in the Red Wedding and Balon fell to his death at Pyke. Two of the three opposing kings are dead, but Melisandre warns for successors taking their places. The others attempt to persuade Stannis to sacrifice Edric to wake dragons from stone, but Davos reminds him that the kinslayer is cursed. He argues that three leeches were burned, but only two kings are dead, and Stannis agrees with him. Once alone, Davos reminds Stannis of Princess Shireen Baratheon's friendship with Edric, but Stannis admits his willingness to sacrifice the boy if Joffrey were to die.[12]

Davos has been learning how to read with lessons from Maester Pylos. To practice, Pylos gives Davos a letter which had arrived a while back, from Maester Aemon at Castle Black. Davos reads about the threat of Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall, the fight at the Fist, and Aemon's fears that Lord Commander Jeor Mormont has been slain with all his strength. When asked, Pylos reveals that he showed the letter to Alester, but the king and Melisandre are not aware of the warning's existence. Though Davos is reminded of Melisandre speaking about the night that never ends, and a vision Stannis had seen in the flames, he agrees that neither of them needs to see the letter.[12]

Davos and a few men he knows to be loyal only to Stannis, including Pylos, bring Edric Storm to one of Salladhor's ships in secret. Ser Andrew Estermont accompanies the boy, and they leave Dragonstone during the night. With the boy safely away, Davos goes to Stannis, informing his king that Joffrey is dead. Melisandre asks Stannis for Edric, and the king warns her that she will pay with her life if she is wrong. Melisandre is certain that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn, and that the red comet was his herald. Davos reveals that Edric is gone, and based on Melisandre's reaction judges that she had not foreseen it in her flames. Stannis is furious, but Davos tells him that a king must protect his people, or he is no king at all. Stannis draws Lightbringer to behead Davos, allowing Davos to speak his lasts words. Davos reads to them letter that Pylos received from the Night's Watch,[10] which convinces Stannis that his true enemy is in the north and leads him to sail his forces to the Wall.[19]

A Feast for Crows

Queen Regent Cersei Lannister reports to the small council that Davos was sent to White Harbor to negotiate with Lord Wyman Manderly. She reveals she demanded Davos's execution in exchange for the life of Wyman's heir, Ser Wylis Manderly.[4] It is later reported that Davos has been beheaded, and Lord Manderly swears his head and hands have been mounted above the walls of White Harbor, which the Freys have confirmed.[20] Ser Jaime Lannister releases Wylis from Harrenhal and has him take ship from Maidenpool for White Harbor.[21]

A Dance with Dragons

Davos rowing - by Niten © Fantasy Flight Games

Davos sails from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea at the Wall to represent Stannis and his claim in White Harbor with Salladhor Saan and his fleet of Lyseni sellsails. After a number of storms take their toll on his fleet, however, Salladhor abandons Stannis's cause and gives Davos the choice between coming with him to the Stepstones, or leaving in a small row boat. Choosing to continue his mission for Stannis, Davos rows his boat to shore at Sweetsister. He is caught when trying to buy passage of the island in the town Sisterton, and taken before Lord Godric Borrell of Breakwater. Godric informs Davos of the deaths of Lysa Arryn and Tywin Lannister, and admits that Cersei Lannister now rules King's Landing, making Davos realize that Godric has doubts about which side to join. Godric frees Davos, allowing him to continue to White Harbor as long as he keeps silent about having been on Sweetsister, warning Davos that several Freys have preceded him to White Harbor, and that Lord Wyman Manderly has made a pact with Lord Walder Frey.[14]

Davos arrives at White Harbor, but since Lord Godric's information suggests the Manderlys plan to join the Freys and Boltons, he keeps his identity hidden. He sees warships in the harbor and learns that Wyman is raising soldiers. In the Lazy Eel, a winesink, he learns Robett Glover has been attempting to find support at White Harbor, though Lord Manderly has been ignoring his pleas, while several northern houses have been fighting against the ironborn, and House Umber has joined the Boltons. The news that Ser Wylis Manderly is a hostage to the Iron Throne diminishes his hopes. Though he believes his situation is hopeless, Davos approaches a guard at the New Castle, insisting to see Lord Manderly.[9]

Instead, Davos is taken captive, not allowed to leave his large, airy and furnished chambers. After eighteen days, he is brought before Lord Manderly in the Merman's Court. Davos requests a private audience, but is refused and made to make his case in the presence of Wyman's kin, Frey envoys, and others. Most are hostile towards him, and when Wyman's cousin, Ser Marlon, asks Davos about Stannis's strength, Davos's silence tells them his military force is too small. The only person supporting Davos is Wylla Manderly, Wyman's granddaughter, who insists House Manderly should support Stannis to get revenge for the Red Wedding. Lord Wyman has Davos arrested, and orders him to be taken to the Wolf's Den and have his hands and head cut off.[6] Davos is imprisoned, but Wyman has a lookalike prisoner executed in Davos's place. The prisoner is beheaded, his head dipped in tar and an onion stuffed in his mouth. The fingers of one of his hands are also cut off to resemble Davos's. The head and hands are then put up on spikes on the walls of the city.[22] With Cersei now convinced of the loyalty of House Manderly, she allows Ser Wylis Manderly to return to White Harbor.[20]

During the feast held to celebrate Wylis's return, Lord Wyman has Robett Glover free Davos and bring him to the New Castle, where Wyman meets with them in secret. He apologizes for the treatment Davos received, explaining that he had to fake loyalty in order to save the life of his surviving son. Davos learns that Wyman does not believe the lies and stories the Freys tell about the Red wedding, nor the stories the Boltons spread about Winterfell's fall. He informs Davos that Wex Pyke, who had been present during the sack of Winterfell, witnessed the survival of Bran and Rickon Stark, and, importantly, knows where Rickon has gone. He tells Davos that he will swear his allegiance to Stannis if Davos travels to Skagos to retrieve Rickon and his direwolf, Shaggydog.[22]

Quotes by Davos

King Stannis is my god. He made me and blessed me with his trust.[2]

—Davos to Salladhor Saan

Melisandre: Are you a good man, Davos Seaworth?

Davos: I am a man. I am kind to my wife, but I have known other women. I have tried to be a father to my sons, to help make them a place in this world. Aye, I've broken laws, but I never felt evil until tonight. I would say my parts are mixed, m'lady. Good and bad.

Melisandre: A grey man. Neither white nor black, but partaking of both.[11]

Melisandre and Davos

Seaworth had a lordly ring to it, but down deep he was still Davos of Flea Bottom, coming home to his city on its three high hills. He knew as much of ships and sails and shores as any man in the Seven Kingdoms, and had fought his share of desperate fights sword to sword on a wet deck. But to this sort of battle he came a maiden, nervous and afraid. Smugglers do not sound warhorns and raise banners. When they smell danger, they raise sail and run before the wind.[13]

—thoughts of Davos

Stannis: I know the cost! Last night, gazing into that hearth, I saw things in the flames as well. I saw a king, a crown of fire on his brows, burning ... burning, Davos. His own crown consumed his flesh and turned him into ash. Do you think I need Melisandre to tell me what that means? Or you? If Joffrey should die ... what is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?
Davos: Everything.[12]

Stannis Baratheon and Davos

Kings and corpses always draw attendants.[14]

—thoughts of Davos

Jared: The Red Wedding was the Young Wolf's work. He changed into a beast before our eyes and tore out the throat of my cousin Jinglebell, a harmless simpleton. He would have slain my lord father too, if Ser Wendel had not put himself in the way.

Davos: Is it your claim that Robb Stark killed Wendel Manderly?
Jared: And many more. Mine own son Tytos was amongst them, and my daughter's husband. When Stark changed into a wolf, his northmen did the same. The mark of the beast was on them all. Wargs birth other wargs with a bite, it is well-known. It was all my brothers and I could do to put them down before they slew us all.
Davos: Ser, may I have your name?
Jared: Ser Jared, of House Frey.

Davos: Jared of House Frey, I name you liar.[6]

Jared Frey and Davos

I was a better smuggler than a knight, he had written to his wife, a better knight than a King's Hand, a better King's Hand than a husband. I am so sorry. Marya, I have loved you. Please forgive the wrongs I did you.[22]

—Davos writing to Marya Seaworth

Quotes about Davos

A smuggler must be a fair judge of men.[11]

Stannis Baratheon to Davos

You have a passing clever father, Devan. He makes me wish I had more smugglers in my service. And fewer lords.[11]

Cersei: Stannis has sent his onion smuggler to treat with White Harbor on his behalf. Manderly has clapped the wretch inside a cell. He asks us what he should do with him.

Orton: Send him here, that we might question him. The man might know much of value.
Qyburn: Let him die. His death will be a lesson to the north, to show them what becomes of traitors.
Cersei: I quite agree. I have instructed Lord Manderly to have his head off forthwith. That should put an end to any chance of White Harbor supporting Stannis.

Aurane: Stannis will need another Hand. The turnip knight, perhaps?[4]




  1. Davos states in 300 AC that the last time he was at White Harbor was "half a dozen years before".


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